Dove Healthcare CEO Talks Expansion, Staffing Programs, and Future Initiatives

In an operating environment where many operators are downsizing, Dove Healthcare is extending its reach in Wisconsin by incorporating five new locations into its network.

Following this expansion, Dove Healthcare will own a total of 10 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, along with five assisted living residences and three independent living complexes.

These new locations are situated in Fennimore, Lodi, St. Croix Falls, and Superior.


Skilled Nursing News connected with Jeremy Kiley, Dove Healthcare’s CEO, who said that despite a difficult operating environment in their home state, he believes that the companies rebounding post-COVID, are doing so by demonstrating leadership, maintaining standards, and innovating.

A majority of Dove Healthcare buildings received Five Star ratings, and Kiley explained Dove’s success by noting its focus and success on retention efforts, given that high-turnover buildings are forced to prioritize staffing over quality.

SNN spoke with Kiley to understand factors that influenced the selection of new locations, staffing programs, and the survey process in Wisconsin.


This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

SNN: What were some of the factors that influenced the selection of these new locations for expansion in Wisconsin?

Kiley: It isn’t so much a selection in that situation. It’s more that this expansion is actually the result of a merger between two organizations with common ownership. If you ask folks in Wisconsin, Dove Healthcare has a really good brand attributed to it. So because of that, the decision was made that Dove Healthcare would take over all aspects of the locations, which are the ones located in Fennimore, Lodi, St. Croix Falls, and Superior. I think what this change brings to these facilities is very local types of support for those buildings and a strong provider that has had success in Wisconsin. And I know that the administrators are excited to have that strong local support from Dove Healthcare. So, it isn’t so much that we targeted that and said we’re expanding, but we were part of a merger under common ownership.

SNN: Are there any new initiatives that you intend to implement at the facilities?

Kiley: Obviously, we intend to implement all of Dove Healthcare’s policies, procedures, systems. We’re sort of dipping our toe in at this point and doing a lot of fact-finding. We’re meeting with residents, family, employees, and getting a lot of information from them, which will determine priorities and the strategies that we implement in all those locations. Dove Healthcare doesn’t really believe in a cookie-cutter approach across the entire company. We really focus the operation on what that specific community needs, and that’s attributed to a lot of our success because what works in Fennimore may not work in Eau Claire, for example.

SNN: Are there any staffing programs in place to accommodate the expansion?

Kiley: The number one thing that we’ve already implemented is that we’re working with our partner, the Healthcare Workforce Training Institute, and they are going to set up classrooms and lab spaces at all of these new locations. The institute brings CNA training, medication training, CBRF training, and CPR training on-site. And so based on our experience at the original Dove Healthcare locations, we’ve minimized staffing concerns as a result of having those on-site training programs. So, we believe that will bring a new and different feel to the buildings. It’s going to increase our access to the direct care workforce in those locations. And we’re really excited about that, so all that planning and process is underway, and I know the facilities are really excited about having their on-site training programs.

In terms of other types of staffing throughout the organization, we’re adding a few positions to our home office to accommodate the new locations, but in general, our focus is going to be at the building level and improving the direct care workforce.

SNN: Could you tell me more about the training program?

Kiley: Dove Healthcare had its own set of training that we provided for years, but we thought it would be better served to have a separate entity take that over because they could focus on growing that. They’ve grown throughout the state of Wisconsin, and they’re really good at what they do. They have really good outcomes when it comes to successful passing and completion of the CNA training program, for example. And, you know, that to me is the baseline, is the start of quality care. We have to have good CNAs, and that’s where that started from.

But the Institute is a partner; they’re the ones who host these classes, not just for Dove Healthcare facilities, but for any healthcare provider out there. Our goal is to have full classes and provide as much direct care to the communities we serve as possible. And so, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the only employees of Dove Healthcare. They could be at other facilities in the community as well.

SNN: Do you have any additional plans for expansion?

Kiley: We’re currently exploring another skilled nursing facility in Wisconsin. I can’t disclose much about it, but we’re excited to expand and add another one to the Dove Healthcare family in the next couple of months.

SNN: Why do you continue to expand in the SNF space?

Kiley: We’re excited to expand in the skilled nursing space. Many organizations are currently shying away from skilled nursing, shutting down units or buildings, and leaning more towards assisted living or independent living. However, we remain enthusiastic about growing in skilled nursing because it’s a necessary service. We believe we will continue to grow as long as there are opportunities, and we feel that our healthcare approach can enhance the facilities. So, in summary, our philosophy is simple: if we excel at something, we should do more of it. That’s our plan moving forward.

SNN: What is the most difficult part of the operating environment in Wisconsin?

Kiley: We haven’t observed any significant changes over the past five years … I believe companies that rebounded post-COVID, maintained leadership, upheld standards, and innovated have not experienced a decline in survey performance. Our survey performance has been consistently good. Most of our buildings have a five-star rating in that area. It’s about consistency. Buildings with high turnover spend more time on daily staffing than on quality. We’ve maintained our position by focusing on retention. While I can’t say we’ve noticed a change, the survey process is regional, and different regional offices may have different perspectives.

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